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What impression do you get of life in the 1930's from the novel 'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry'? : English Language Analytical Assignment

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Introduction

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry By Mildred D. Taylor What impression do you get of life in the in rural Mississippi in the 1930's? Consider: * The geography and climate * Ways of earning a living * Education and social life * The way people treat each other In this essay, I will be looking at the different aspects of life in the 1930's from the novel 'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry' by Mildred D. Taylor. This book is full of details that indicate the racism that the black citizens had to endure. The novel describes the process in which Cassie Logan, the narrator, learns about the realities of racism in Spokane County, Mississippi. In the presidential elections of 1860, the Republican Party led by Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. The Republican victory in that election resulted in seven southern states declaring their secession from the Union, becoming the Confederacy, or CSA (Confederate States of America) led by Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Confederate forces attacked US on April 12 1861 bringing the American Civil War. ...read more.

Middle

He came to see us several times a year, mainly on business, and although the boys and I were somewhat shy of him, we were always glad to see him. He was the only white man I had ever heard address Mama and Big Ma as 'Missus' and I liked him for it.' Another boy in the story who is unlike the majority of white people is Jeremy. He brought Stacey Logan Christmas presents, although Cassie described him as a 'strange boy'. He always used to meet the Logan children on their way to school and 'was often ridiculed by the other children at school and had shown up more than once with wide red welts on his arms which Lillian Jean, his older sister, had revealed with satisfaction were the result of his associating with us. Still Jeremy continued to meet us'. Associating with white people is a risk for black people, because if they ever did 'step out of their line' they could be in very serious trouble. For example, when Sam Tatum, who was black, had called Mr. Barnett, who was white, a liar, he was 'tarred and feathered'. ...read more.

Conclusion

he would work long hot summers pounding steel; Mama would teach and run the farm; Big Ma, in her 60's would work like a woman of 20 in the fields and keep the house; and the boys and I would wear thread bare clothing washed to dishwater colour; but always the tax and mortgage would be paid'. Black and white people can and should work together, but they are more likely to work together in a state of emergency when their material resources are endangered. For example, only when Mr. Logan started the fire, did both black and white people work along side each other to save their fields. Only through working together can you achieve. The final messages of the book, for me, would be two. One message would be that survival is possible but there are inevitable losses along the way. The other message of the book, which to me is the most important of the two, would be what Mary Logan teaches her daughter, she says, 'Baby, we have no choice of what colour we're born or who our parents are or whether we are rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here'. Ayesha Mufti 1 ...read more.

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